The Birdman, An Icy Day, and Me

Winter has invaded my southern home. Having come from Buffalo, I feel myself an expert in winter, snow, ice and impossible roads upon which it is easy to get stuck and sit there like a fool with spinning wheels. But down here, problems immediately present themselves on days like this: all too familiar, as I’ve had them many times before in the north. I bought more groceries last Thursday morning knowing a snow storm was coming. Staying inside makes you eat more. I should have known that I would abandon my rigorous diet and eat something rich while I watch many reruns of The Bluebloods. Thus I need to get more groceries today including some baking supplies I ran out of (yes, butter makes the best cakes and muffins and I’m out of butter.) It is very cold here, thirty degrees this morning, and all of us who live here, accustomed to wearing summery clothes and rarely sweaters, have to pile on loads of layers, just as I had to do in Buffalo, and get our cars going. Luckily my old Ford Escape has four-wheel drive, which I’ve never used since I moved south. There is a weak sun out this cold day and that encourages me to go to the supermarket after lunch to pick up extra groceries.

The day happens to be my birthday too.  Last Sunday night, my youngest daughter treated me to dinner and a film in honor of the event. I chose “Birdman.” I suddenly realized as I was trying to figure out what the film meant as we watched, that the writers used magical realism, which solved all the problems immediately in interpreting the film. Once I accepted this premise,  I could then look at the events, settings and above all The Birdman himself as having more than one meaning, and the richness of the film made many meanings possible. I’ll go to the store where I can get some celebratory baked goods, thus eliminating the need to bake and giving me more time to read about this fascinating film online. For everyone who has seen the film, here’s a good address for you to start, in which the writer explores the various ways to interpret the film. Go to Erin Perry’s essay at The Dinglehopper for a neat discussion on what kind of film Birdman is.  She says “Seems to me we can take the ending in three different directions: the literal (real), the metaphorical (magically real), and the fantastical (unreal).” My vote is magical realism. See what you think!

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